The Royal County Arbiter

21 June 2006

Art Classroom Note

I found this on the floor in a British secondary school art classroom. Written by girls aged between 11 and 16, it tells an evocative story of young life in today's modern urban Britain.

British Art Classroom Note

omg im so board!
same same I cnt w8 till friday till venom n c dat boi yay cnt wait
lol, do u want me 2 come?
well no lol
OMG! OK if ya dont want to hang out wid ya nanny I understand!
lol na u cn cum bt we duno how we are gettin home dogh cuz I will ask but prob say no init
well we cn walk, it wont b da late or dark & it b fun! haha
it will n ma dad will kill me
Ohhhhhhhhh [possibly written by third person]

1. Venom is a horrifying nightclub in Berkshire with an under-18s night.
2. "dogh" is easily the best ever youth culture mis-spelling of "though".
3. There are people in the world who actually write lol on paper, in real life. The nature of writing a secret note in class means you cannot actually be laughing out loud, as doing so would arouse suspicion in the teacher almost immediately. Thus, like almost all people who ever type LOL, these girls are liars.


Blogger Myrtle Peacock:

Please note that the Venom Under 18s website is sponsored by Ribena. Aspartame is the new ecstasy clearly.

9:51 pm  
Blogger Rob:

I agree that LOL is completely inappropriate in a classroom. Better would be SM, standing for 'Silent Mirth', a term successfully employed in many Bash Street Kids cartoons during the early 80s.

5:07 pm  
Anonymous benconservato:

oh dear, that just made my skin crawl... kids actually do (sort of) "speak" like that. What happened to the days when you had to read something properly so as to understand the sense? No emoticons to help you out... oh the scandal!
I sound old. I swear I'm not!

5:11 pm  
Anonymous ufe_of_todey:

u guyz r old nd obsleet u shud preper 2 make wy 4 ur nu supriors as ur servc is no lngr reqyrd lol serusly dogh thx 4 all ur hrd wurk uve ben gr8 hehe :@)

1:02 am  
Blogger Tim Footman:

All young people should be shot. Sorry, sht.

2:12 pm  
Blogger Number 9:

I just love your blog!

4:39 am  
Blogger Steven:

hahaha! i'm (only?) 24 and i don;t understand a word of that note-- is shortneing it like that supposed to make it easier??

9:45 pm  
Blogger Kieran:

Where have you gone? This is brilliant.

4:56 pm  
Anonymous Marty Weil:

Great ephemera...paper scraps are often overlooked but provide poetry if one looks close. Ephemera, so often under-appreciated, is a joy to see featured here.

7:52 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous:

I am 15 and have often had conversations in classroom via notes and written 'lol'. I think that using 'lol' in a note to someone who undersatnds its meaning is perfectly fine and does not make you a liar. It simply implies to the other person or people that though you cannot physically do it in the classroom, you would be laughing out loud if you were actually holding a verbal conversation with them.

5:46 pm  
Blogger mig bardsley:

S as in :)
But when I read the bread recipes I did LOL, several times.

I got here by way of flickr and it's cheered up my evening, thanks :)

1:34 am  
Blogger Kevin:

hahaha, i love it

12:05 am  
Blogger bp:

I'm 15, and I don't write notes or talk like that in real life.

This is completely embarrassing for my generation.

1:20 am  
Blogger 小小:

沒有一件事情是好的或壞的,是想法改變了一切。 ..................................................

5:09 am  
Blogger 口香糖:

你的部落格很棒,我期待更新喔 ........................................

9:40 am  
Anonymous Anonymous:

Since it is the early worm that gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.............................................

1:34 am  
Blogger Andrea Laura:

Enjoy the ultimate guide to bars, happy hours, clubs, lounges & restaurants in Washington, DC.

Nightclub Events

8:00 am  

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14 June 2006

More foreign packaging (slight return)

This morning I received a CD from America. When I cut open the folded piece of cardboard in which it had been mailed, I discovered this printed on the reverse.

Mystery American packaging

Whatever this company is, I'm sure we don't have it in the UK. What the hell is the image supposed to be? In addition, I can think of no words beginning with BAGL.

Please help if you can.


Blogger han:

Mystery solved - it's the WINDTUNNEL BAGLESS vacuum cleaner!

8:39 pm  
Blogger Tim Lazyhour:

ZOMG! That was a very fast solution. Thank you, han! I would never have guessed that that image on the box was a portion of a vacuum cleaner. According to, the Windtunnel Bagless "sucks so hard it could leave hickeys!" Crumbs.

9:29 pm  
Anonymous Soup:

I thought it might be "baglady". How disappointing.

3:41 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous:

That thing looks real naughty.

3:55 am  

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11 June 2006

Ways of Using Bread

We found this little post-war recipe book while helping my Grandmother move house. Its full title is Over 120 Ways of Using Bread for Tasty and Delightful Dishes, and it cost 6d (old money). Here's the back cover:

Bread Built An Empire - Recipe booklet back cover

Ah, that famous Wild West Great Bread Empire! The dusty road; the covered wagon; the smell of the crust.

A very good point is made in the introduction:

"Of course, we do not live by bread alone. Nobody wants to. Nobody needs to. We could, however, live and thrive on bread and milk, were it not for the monotony."
Over the last few years, I've come to really hate the crushing inevilability of bread. It invokes a kind of midday despair, and reminds me that at its root, life is very boring indeed. This book, then, is both my heaven and hell. Myrtle and I have picked some choice recipes for you to try at home.
¼ pint water, a little sugar, 1 thick slice of bread, 1 egg.
Toast the bread on both sides and remove the crust. Break the toast into small pieces and put into a saucepan with the water. Simmer over the fire until the mixture becomes a jelly. Take it from the fire, and stir in the egg well beaten, sugar to taste, and a little vanilla flavouring if liked.

Slices of stale bread, milk, nutmeg, pepper, chopped parsley, herbs, lemon rind, egg and breadcrumbs.
Cut the slices of stale bread into cutlet shapes, about three-quarters of an inch in thickness. Soak them in a little milk on a plate, but do not make them too soft. Mix the chopped parsley, herbs, lemon rind, nutmeg and breadcrumbs. Break the egg on a plate, dip each cutlet in it, then in the prepared breadcrumbs, and drop in deep boiling fat.

Cut a slice of bread from a large loaf about ¼ inch thick. Toast it evenly on both sides to a golden brown colour. Cool it, then put into a jug and pour cold water over it. Leave until the water is the colour of sherry, then strain and serve in a glass jug. This is a very refreshing drink in hot weather; it may also be safely given to patients suffering from Influenza and other feverish ailments.

For reasons of space we are unable to reproduce every recipe, but as a kind of blog dessert, you can try to imagine what these dishes from the book might entail:
  • Brown Bread Mist
  • Ham Mould
  • Cold Meat Shape
  • Bread Meringue
  • Brown Bread Ice Cream
  • Rice Toast
Full recipes are available on request. You might like to try this recipe too. Barman, toast water for everyone!


Blogger pinklefish:

Such pathos!
Perhaps this book is of a time when there were even less vegetarian meal choices than there are now, if that's possible.
How does bread and water turn into jelly? In bygone eras did bread get made with melted pigs hooves?
Toast water is basically carbon tea. I can see how that would be good for stomach upsets but not flu.
I really want to know what "Cold Meat Shape" is. Sounds like Engrish.

10:34 pm  
Blogger Rob:

This is hilarious.. I am definitely going to make toast water first thing in the morning.

11:40 pm  
Blogger Fred:

Reminds me of that horrible ale-bread soup in Babette's Feast...

never understood why bread sauce tastes so good...

I presume there are recipes for bread pudding and bread and butter puddling?


2:06 pm  
Blogger Clare:

Brown bread icecream -- my mother used to make that. It's actually really nice. Sort of nubbly. Good with chocolate sauce.

4:51 pm  
Blogger mig bardsley:

LOL. really, out loud :)

1:25 am  

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01 June 2006

Lost Property Box Jury

Another library find, this time a mix CD I discovered buried under all the gloves, pens and reading lists in the lost property box. I was so intrigued by the drawing on it of the bird's wings and paw print that I took it home to have a listen.


I spent a good hour identifying all the tracks and, boy, do I feel gypped! This is undoubtedly the worst mix CD that I have ever heard. No wonder it got left at the library.

  1. The Beatles - I've Just Seen A Face
  2. Sam Cooke - Wonderful World (Don't Know Much)
  3. Bic Runga - Sway
  4. Prince - The Most Beautiful Girl In The World
  5. Lenny Kravitz - Stand By My Woman
  6. Bill Withers - Lean On Me
  7. Van Morrison - Have I Told You Lately
  8. Sinead O'Connor - Nothing Compares To You
  9. Katie Melua - Closest Thing To Crazy
  10. Bob Dylan - To Make You Feel My Love
  11. Bob Marley - I Know A Place (Where We Can Carry On)
  12. Dire Straits - Romeo and Juliet
  13. Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes - Up Where We Belong
  14. Lionel Richie - Stuck On You
  15. Bob Marley - Turn Your Lights Down Low
  16. Billy Joel - And So It Goes
  17. The Beach Boys - Disney Girls
  18. Sting - Fields Of Gold
  19. Eva Cassidy - Time After Time
  20. Bob Dylan - Shelter From The Storm

I feel embarrassed every time I look at the readers in the library now, wondering who the recipient was and, more pertinently, who in god's name made this MOR slushfest. I mean, I feel mortified for this person who thinks Lenny Kravitz songs are a valid form of musical expression. They'll never pass their finals this way.


Anonymous Anonymous:

:( can I have my CD back please?

1:42 pm  
Blogger ben:

'Darrell Jones 2026: All Back To Mine' there.

*Track missing: They Might Be Giants: "Here's Another Great One We Threw In A Bin, Dad"

11:11 am  
Blogger fin:

I like the winged decoration with the pawpad.

6:11 pm  
Blogger Steven:

this looks the ideal soundtrack to a dinner party for late 40 somethings in the mid 80's. even then they'd be extremely conservative for the times..

9:22 pm  
Blogger Phil:

Lenny Krav's drummer is quite good. I saw her once.

I'm going to spend the rest of the day digitally remastering compilation tapes from my childhood.

7:40 pm  

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